That is where I have been for the past three days. My very first time serving in this capacity. How do I describe it to you? Scintillating? Maybe not. Thrilling? Um, no. Riveting? Definitely not. Mind-numbing, boredom inducing? Yes.
Not my fellow jurors. No, they were a lot of fun to be with. But the process (if you could call it one) was excruciatingly s.l.o.w. Sit and wait, take a short break, sit and wait some more. Ad nauseum.
We were quite a diverse group. There were a few teachers, a builder, moms (me included), a financial planner, retirees, young and old, men and women.
We sat in what proved to be the coldest location in the court house. The woman at the desk delighted in informing us that there was nothing they could do about the frigid air blowing from the vents. The donning of sweaters was de regeur and even then it was still cold. But, we had claimed that room as ours, bonded together as a group and nothing, freezing temperatures included, could make us move to a warmer locale.
The crackle of the speaker would bring a voice listing a series of numbers of potential jurors and we each held our breath waiting to see if one of us would be among them. I was number 150. My hopes were not that high that I would be called early on.
I believe that during my three days at the Henry County Courthouse, I drank my weight in diet Coke, munched on a few granola bars and wore off the calories consumed by crocheting granny squares. I almost wasn't even allowed to do that.
Coming in on Monday, I spied a woman knitting an afghan. "Perfect!", I thought. I would be able to work on my squares. Tuesday morning found me going through the security line with my knitting bag only to have someone say, "Stop! Scissors!" Whoops. My tiny embroidery scissors. I forgot they were in the bag. I had to relinquish them to the top desk drawer.
The security guard then asked if I had needles in my bag. I pulled out my crochet hook to show him. My wooden crochet hook, without a point.
"We're not supposed to let you in with pointed objects."
"Really, I saw a woman knitting yesterday and that is the only reason I brought mine today. And the hook is not pointed and it's made of wood!"
" Well, it's still pointy and her needles might have been plastic."
"So is the pen in my purse."
"Oh, alright. You can take it in with you. Will you be crocheting today?"
"Yes and thank you." Seriously, why else would I have six skeins of yarn and a crochet hook? To tie people up and poke their eyes out? Do I look like someone who would come armed with a handmade weapon and a nefarious intent? Criminy willikers!
The third day of my adventure finally brought me to a court room, where I was dismissed as a potential juror because I knew someone in law enforcement. Back to the jury pool for me. I found myself feeling a bit disappointed. It would have been interesting to see how the process works in real life, without the cleverly scripted dialogue and scenes found on television.
Hours more passed by, lunch was consumed, baby gifts purchased during a break and then back to the refrigerator for a few more hours of boredom. Everyone was getting antsy.
At four-twenty pm, we were released of our duties, and sent home with a "Thank you." from the woman behind the desk. Surrendering our traverse juror tags into the bucket, shoulders straightened, bounces came back to steps, we filed out of the courthouse into the lazy afternoon sun and wended our merry ways home.
I hope that I don't get called back for a very long time.